High-level exchange – Disability inclusion in EU external action

High-level exchange – Disability inclusion in EU external action

On 26 March 2021, the European Disability Forum (EDF) and International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) organised a high-level exchange on EU International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, which was hosted and moderated by MEP Radka Maxová on behalf of the European Parliament Disability Intergroup.

The aim of the exchange was to inform Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) about policy developments and priorities on disability inclusion in EU International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, how these policies can be effectively implemented, and the gaps that still exist.

Speakers included the European Commissioners for Equality and for Crisis Management, the Deputy Director-General of DG INTPA, the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the OHCHR Representative for Europe, and leaders of disability leaders from Europe, Africa, and Pacific regions.

The discussion focused on the new EU Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its CRPD-compliant implementation in EU external action. It highlighted specific and mainstream approaches, linkages with the EU Gender Action Plan, the EU Human Rights and Democracy Action Plan, the upcoming EU Strategy with Africa, the EU ECHO Humanitarian Disability Guidance Note, and synergies with other tools, resources, and processes that exist both within and outside Europe.

MEPs will be sent summary information and support if required, to help ensure that the positive momentum continues and that existing gaps continue to be closed.

Speaker list:
• MEP Radka Maxová
• Helena Dalli – European Commissioner for Equality
• Yannis Vardakastanis – President, European Disability Forum (EDF)
• Eamon Gilmore – EU Special Representative on Human Rights
• Idriss Maiga ADF – President, African Disability Forum (EDF)
• Martin Seychell – Deputy Director-General of DG INTPA
• MEP Ádám Kósa (video)
• Janez Lenarčič – European Commissioner for Crisis Management
• Birgit Van Hout – OHCHR Regional Representative for Europe
• Setareki Seru Macanawai – CEO, Pacific Disability Forum (PDF)
• Jutta Urpilainen – European Commissioner for International Partnerships
• Blandine Bouniol – IDDC

The full summary of the exchange with links to resources can be read here.

For more information, please contact Gordon Rattray, International Cooperation Officer gordon.rattray@edf-feph.org